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08 April 2003 @ 05:56 pm
TroJam succinct  
BRIEF review. (yeah right) OK, how about "Brief review of each group"?

The highlight of the show for me was being introduced to a new group, Bufferzone. These guys have a great sense of humor, which goes well with putting forth a good sound using great arrangements and a good visual plan. The website linked here is theirs, but it doesn't have a whole lot of info. The one thing in there worth noting is that their new CD is being released this coming weekend - I've already e-mailed them asking for info on how to buy. At TJ, they did four songs, but my favorites were We Built This City (Starship) and Video Killed the Radio Star (The Buggles). Much goodness.
Just checked the sound clips for We Built This City on their page -- very unpolished. They did it considerably better live - and I hope that the CD reflects the latter more than the former....

Also my first time hearing Stanford's Everyday People. Not my favorites, although I allowed myself to get talked into getting two of their albums that night. They had tempo issues, needed more energy, and generally needed to enjoy their music more. Had good soloists, but they kept tempo by having one person snap his fingers in tempo. For every song. MAN, that got annoying. A couple of good things on the CDs I got, but nothing trademarky -- nothing I'd say defines them. They're more R&B than anything, which is good if you enjoy R&B. I'm not it's biggest fan.

Fermata Nowhere sang again, and suddenly you knew how they got to ICCA semifinals. The pressure was off, and their performance was on. Some technical difficulties made the mix less than perfect, but I really enjoyed "18 Wheels on a Big Rig", and you still can't go wrong with "Ultimate Cheesburger". If they end up with a CD to sell, it'll likely be worthwhile. Very fun.

The Sirens put on a good show, but had some issues. Overdone percussion, underdone background voices, not enough support were the primary ones on my list. One soprano really caught my ear, though - she came out of nowhere and lightly floated in the stratosphere with crystal clear tones. I have their first album (somewhat missable), and was hoping to pick up the second before the third was released while I was there. Oh well... I'll have to get to one of their shows sometime and pick 'em up there. :-) (I've heard a track or two on GASP, so I know their recorded sound has gotten much better, and I did enjoy the set quite a bit)

One of my favorites in both TroJams that I've seen has been Reverse Osmosis. Last year, it was for Thriller (on their first CD, Aural Pleasure). This year, it was the Nintendo Medley (yes, they assure me it'll be on their next album). Several themes from Super Mario Bros, Zelda, and Super Mario Bros 2 done a cappella.....does it get any better than that? :-) Ugly Girl and Good Souls were also good stuff, but both soloists needed to relax a little and just sell the song. And what can you say about Groove is in the Heart?

Awaken is another great local a cappella group. Great sound, great arrangements... Just a couple of problems here and there. In particular, I didn't like that one of their members is directing them from the side.......and they're still not together in complex arrangements like Landslide. That one really pissed me off - they have a great arrangement, but really dropped the ball with it - no passion in either the soloist or the chorus, and like I say, they weren't bothering to give the complexity what it was worth by watching the director. Jen and I agreed that one of the best soloists of the evening was the one that did "Gravity" - they'd have had a shot at Best Soloist if they'd been at Stanford.

And of course, our hosts the VoCals. Another case of letting go allowing them to give a great performance. If they'd done this in Stanford, they'd have had a shot at first instead of struggling to get third.

That's all the notes I have. Later!
Current Music: Mark Spiro - All The Love We Kill